In an email shortly before her trip up, I remember telling Jen that it was likely that I would chat her ear off in the car. However, on that first night we met I was so nervous that I pretended to sleep on the way home. The following day we drove out to another city, a couple of hours away to catch another show. The third night "our band" wasn't playing, but another musician we were both interested in seeing was. She was playing a seated venue, and at some-point midway through the performance Jen and I went from awkwardly sharing an armrest to holding hands. An innocent enough gesture, but still my heart was racing the entire time. It was another quiet car ride home, this time with our fingers intertwined.
After an hour or two we pulled up outside of my house. We made plans for where and when to meet the following day, and when it was time to say goodbye, I leaned over the centre console of the car and kissed her. Suddenly panicked, I pulled away, stammered a quick goodbye, and dashed to the front door of the house, fumbling with my keys to get inside.
The following day I met Jen at her hotel, as planned. Small talk turned into more kissing. I was certainly enjoying it, but also felt conflicted about things. I knew I liked her, but I didn't know what she thought of me. I was also scared to like her.
The rest of the trip played out as you might imagine. More live music. More kisses. More conversation. More confusion over what all of this meant and might be leading to.
Once she was back home we were able to have some honest conversations over email. I was happy to hear that she did, in fact, like me as much as I liked her. I tried to express some of my reservations. I was met with understanding, only making me fall for her that much more. We decided that we liked each other enough to pursue things.
The next several months we continued to exchange emails, talk on the phone, and have a few more visits where Jen came into town to see me. It was wonderful but it was also stressful. I wasn't out to anyone. My mom was highly suspicious that something was going on and made it quite clear that she didn't approve. I was falling in love, but I still had some big reservations.
And that's pretty much where we were when Someone Else entered the picture.